We asked the experts

World Asthma Day 2021_Misconceptions

As part of #WorldAsthmaDay 2021 and in line with GINA’s Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions campaign, we asked clinical experts to share the most common misconceptions about asthma they encounter and correct them.

These resources are available for all of our member organizations to share and can be downloaded directly from this page.

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Misconception 1: Asthma cannot be prevented. Truth 1: The risk of asthma increases with a number of well-known risk factor exposures, such as exposure to tobacco smoke, unhealthy diets and living in cities. Avoidance of risk factors (although not always easy) will prevent many cases of asthma in the population.

Misconception 1:

Asthma cannot be prevented

Truth 1:

The risk of asthma increases with a number of well-known risk factor exposures, such as exposure to tobacco smoke, unhealthy diets and living in cities. Avoidance of risk factors (although not always easy) will prevent many cases of asthma in the population.

Prof. Nikolaos G. Papadopoulos, MD, PhD, FAAAAI, FRCP

Professor of Allergy & Paediatric Allergy
Division of Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Professor in Allergology- Pediatric Allergology
Head, Allergy Dpt, 2nd Pediatric Clinic, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Editor-in-Chief
Frontiers in Allergy
Board Member of:
Respiratory Effectiveness Group (REG)
Global Allergy & Asthma European Network (GA2LEN)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Network (ReSViNET)

Misconception 2: Asthma is either allergic or non-allergic (e.g. virus-triggered or exercise-induced). Truth 2: Asthma is triggered by different factors, such as the common cold, pollution or allergens, most often in combination.

Misconception 2:

Asthma is either allergic or non-allergic (e.g. virus-triggered or exercise-induced)

Truth 2:

Asthma is triggered by different factors, such as the common cold, pollution or allergens, most often in combination.

Prof. Nikolaos G. Papadopoulos, MD, PhD, FAAAAI, FRCP

Professor of Allergy & Paediatric Allergy
Division of Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Professor in Allergology- Pediatric Allergology
Head, Allergy Dpt, 2nd Pediatric Clinic, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Editor-in-Chief
Frontiers in Allergy
Board Member of:
Respiratory Effectiveness Group (REG)
Global Allergy & Asthma European Network (GA2LEN)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Network (ReSViNET)

Misconception 3: Asthma pumps (inhalers) are addictive and weaken the lungs. They should be avoided or used sparingly. Truth 3: All the medications in asthma inhalers are non-addictive and they do not damage the lung. The opposite is true: Children in whom asthma attacks are prevented by regular treatment with asthma inhalers have better lung development during childhood and adolescence than those who do not receive this treatment.

Misconception 3:

Asthma pumps (inhalers) are addictive and weaken the lungs. They should be avoided or used sparingly.

Truth 3:

All the medications in asthma inhalers are non-addictive and they do not damage the lung.
The opposite is true: Children in whom asthma attacks are prevented by regular treatment with asthma inhalers have better lung development during childhood and adolescence than those who do not receive this treatment.

Eric D Bateman MB ChB (UCT), MD (UCT), FRCP, DCH(UK)

Emeritus Professor
Division of Pulmonology & Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Board member of GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma)

Misconception 4: Asthma patients should quit their medication especially ICS during COVID. Truth 4: Asthma patients should continue their treatment especially ICS during COVID.

Misconception 4:

Asthma patients should quit their medication especially ICS during COVID.

Truth 4:

Asthma patients should continue their treatment especially ICS during COVID.

Arzu Yorgancıoğlu

Professor of Respiratory Medicine , ATSF, FERS
Celal Bayar University Medical Faculty, Department of Pulmonology, Manisa, Turkey
GARD Chair
ERS Advocacy Chair

Misconception 5: Pregnant asthmatics should quit their medication especially ICS s during pregnancy. Truth 5: Pregnant asthmatics should continue their treatment especially ICS s during pregnancy.

Misconception 5:

Pregnant asthmatics should quit their medication especially ICS s during pregnancy.

Truth 5:

Pregnant asthmatics should continue their treatment especially ICS s during pregnancy.

Arzu Yorgancıoğlu

Professor of Respiratory Medicine , ATSF, FERS
Celal Bayar University Medical Faculty, Department of Pulmonology, Manisa, Turkey
GARD Chair
ERS Advocacy Chair

Misconception 6: People with asthma should not take part in sports because they get breathless. Truth 6: People with asthma get breathless during sports because their asthma is not controlled.

Misconception 6:

People with asthma should not take part in sports because they get breathless.

Truth 6:

People with asthma get breathless during sports because their asthma is not controlled.

Marianella Salapatas

Medical Doctor
Board member of GAAPP